Engineering alumni honored in 2024 “40 Under 40” awards

In Alumni Spotlight, Honors & Awards, News

Congratulations to our five outstanding alums for being honored by UF's 40 under 40 awards

We are thrilled to announce that five exceptional Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering alumni have been honored with the university’s “40 under 40” awards. These remarkable individuals exemplify the spirit of innovation and leadership, making significant contributions to their respective fields. Their achievements reflect the excellence of our college and showcase the enduring impact of The Gator Nation, both locally and on a global scale.

Kevin Ally (BSME ’14, BSAE ’14 | Westmont, IL)

TITLE: Product Manager
Regal Rexnord

Kevin Ally was born in Miami, Florida and moved to Orlando, Florida at the age of three. He grew up on the northwest side of Orlando, in an urban community called Pine Hills as the youngest of four boys, raised by a single Haitian mother. After graduating from Ocoee High School, he went on to attend the University of Florida where he studied Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, joined the social organization of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the professional organization of Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity, minored in business administration. Recruited while in his final semester, Kevin joined Eaton Corporation through their Aerospace Sales Leadership Development Program. He spent seven years of his career there with increasing roles and responsibilities. Now Kevin serves as a Senior Product Marketing Manager within the Aerospace and Defense business unit of Regal Rexnord Corporation, where he manages a $55M aerospace product line.

Outside of work, Kevin enjoys cross-discipline fitness, also known as CrossFit, spending time with family, engaging in investment opportunities, helping others increase their financial literacy, and other philanthropic activities. While working in Jackson, Mississippi, he helped a co-worker create a non-profit organization which addresses the homelessness in the area. Also, Kevin most recently created an endowment fund at the University of Florida in honor of his mother, Marie Immacula Ally, to support other first-generation students achieve their dreams.

Kevin holds his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a Series 65 Registered Investment Advisor Certification, and will be obtaining a Program Management Professional (PMP) Certification by end of 2023.

Carlos Palacious (MAS Coastal & Oceanographic Engineering ‘10  |  Nassau, Bahamas)

TITLE: Founder & Managing Principal
Bron Ltd.
INDUSTRY: Engineering

Meet Carlos Palacious – engineer by training, environmentalist by nature, entrepreneur at heart and executive by profession. He was the first Bahamian Coastal Engineer and is a licensed Professional Engineer in The Bahamas, Canada, and the USA. He also holds a global certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a licensed real estate salesperson in The Bahamas.

Carlos is the Founder and Managing Principal of several engineering and technical-related businesses, including Bron Ltd. (development consulting), Eeden Farms (climate-resilient farming), and BluTerra (sustainable manufacturing).

Throughout his career, Carlos has led many of the largest and most nationally significant public and private sector development projects and studies in recent times. In 2021, Project Y Bahamas recognized Carlos as one of the top 48 millennials for his work in the environment, media, service, business, and as a change maker. In 2018, he was named on the prestigious top 40 under 40 list by Professional Services Bahamas. In addition to his professional achievements, Carlos holds numerous leadership roles in professional, civic, and religious organizations. He is a regular presenter at national and regional forums on hurricane preparedness and response, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development.

Carlos is married to Anastarcia and they have two children, Cairo and Chosen.

Matt Sobieski (BSAE ’09, BSME ’09 | Atlanta, GA)

TITLE: Engagement Manager – Implementation
McKinsey & Company

Matt is an engineer, MBA graduate, management consultant, and operations leader who believes that strong relationships are the foundations for success. His degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) laid a strong analytical foundation that is complemented by a globally recognized MBA from Emory’s Goizueta Business School. Matt is an intentional and strategic leader who is passionate about helping others realize their full potential. As a consultant, Matt has helped dozens of companies streamline and simplify their operations, reducing inefficiencies, preserving jobs, and helping create positive working environments. He’s inspired to make the world a better place to live and work in, and he knows that starts with individual leaders doing their very best each and every day to foster an inclusive and supportive environment. This goes far beyond consulting with clients; as an advisor to the UF MAE department, a mentor and coach inside and outside of work Matt is determined to help people in his sphere of influence achieve their very best. When Matt isn’t working, volunteering, or spending time with his family, he enjoys traveling to new countries (also with his family) and restoring/repurposing old houses, furniture, and machines.


Jeremy Waisome (BSCE ’10, MECE ’12, PHD CE ’17 |  Gainesville, FL)

TITLE: Thomas O. Hunter Rising Star Assistant Professor
University of Florida
INDUSTRY: Education

Dr. Jeremy A. Magruder Waisome is the Thomas O. Hunter Rising Star Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education (EED) at the University of Florida (UF). She is a proud triple Gator, with a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in civil engineering from UF. During her studies, she became passionate about issues of equity, access, and inclusion in engineering and computing, transitioning from microstructural materials analysis to developing evidence-based programs and activities to support diverse students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing (STEM+C).

Dr. Waisome leads the PRISEM Lab where her research focuses on broadening participation through critical mentorship. Her primary research interest involves understanding how mentorship impacts student trajectories and self-efficacy in STEM+C. Her work is generously supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She is engaged in educational research across several disciplines, including paleontology, agriculture, medicine, and AI, among others.

She is a member of the UF Hall of Fame, Florida Blue Key, and the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. She is the recipient of several awards including the National Society of Black Engineers’ 2018 Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year Award. In 2023, she was named the inaugural UF EED Thomas O. Hunter Rising Star Assistant Professor. Dr. Waisome serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Roundtable on Mentoring, Well-Being, and Professional Development and is an expert for the NASEM Transforming Trajectories of Women of Color in Tech Initiative. From 2020-21, she served as co-host of Unstoppable Minds, a podcast from UF aimed at uncovering the challenges and triumphs that come with a life in academia and research. She is an avid science communicator, primarily leveraging her platform as a podcaster to introduce others to opportunities in STEM+C and academia.

Victoria Watlington (BSME ’09  | Charlotte, NC)

TITLE: Equipment Innovation Director/Councilmember
The Coca Cola Company/City of Charlotte
INDUSTRY: Food and Beverage

As an Equipment Innovation Director, Dr. Victoria Watlington, PE, PMP, leads the global innovation strategy for Cold Drink Equipment in the Freestyle Innovation Center at The Coca-Cola Company. Throughout her consumer products career, she has led new product development, manufacturing, operations, and delivery for some of the world’s most iconic brands.

After graduating from UF, Dr. Watlington joined The Procter & Gamble Company in Charlotte, NC. She found her passion as a neighborhood association leader, taking an engineering approach to tackling policy issues in her community. In 2019, Dr. Watlington was elected as the District 3 Representative on the Charlotte City Council, and is currently serving her second term. As the Housing, Safety, & Community Committee chair, she has spearheaded citywide public safety reform, economic mobility initiatives, and infrastructure investment. In addition to her role as a local elected official, she was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Building Code Council in 2019.

Dr. Watlington earned her PhD in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems, as well as her Masters of Science in Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, and a graduate certificate in Public Policy Research and Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida.
Dr. Watlington has been recognized for her contributions in public service and industry as the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumna, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Young Professional, and Pride Magazine’s Outstanding Millennial. In addition, she has been honored as a member of Elevate Lifestyle’s 30 Under 30, The Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, The Mecklenburg Times’ 50 Most Influential Women, and Who’s Who in Black Charlotte.